What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) is a holiday commemorating this day, which marked an effective end of slavery in the United States. In simple words, Juneteenth is celebrated to recall memories of Freedom.
Juneteenth, official name of federal holiday Juneteenth National Independence Day, also called Emancipation Day (TX), Freedom DayJubilee DayBlack Independence Day, and Juneteenth Independence Day, holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, observed annually on June 19.
Juneteenth is related to Emancipation Day, Honor America Days. Juneteenth is getting observed since almost 157 years.

How did Juneteenth begin?

On June 19, 1865, Gordon Granger, a Union general, arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform enslaved African Americans of their freedom and that the Civil War had ended.
In 1863, during the American Civil War, Pres. Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared more than three million slaves living in the Confederate states to be free. Unfortunately, it took almost 2 years for Texas People to know about this announcement. The former slaves immediately began to celebrate with prayer, feasting, song, and dance as it was a life changing news for them & families.
The following year, on June 19, the first official Juneteenth celebrations took place in Texas. Within a few years, African Americans in other states started celebrating the day as well, making it an annual tradition.

How is Juneteenth Celebrated?

Early days, celebrations involved prayer and family gatherings, and later included annual pilgrimages to Galveston by former enslaved people and their families. ( Ref – https://www.juneteenth.com/history/)
Celebrations have continued across the United States into the 21st century and typically include prayer and religious services, speeches, educational events, family gatherings and picnics, and festivals with music, food, and dancing. Today, while some celebrations take place among families in backyards where food is an integral element, some cities, like Atlanta and Washington, hold larger events, including parades and festivals with residents, local businesses and more.
As a part of celebrations, Juneteenth became a state holiday in Texas in 1980, and a number of other states subsequently followed suit.
( photo image credit google)

Juneteenth – Path to a National Holiday.

In the wake of the nationwide protests against police brutality in 2020, the push for federal recognition of Juneteenth gained new momentum, and Congress quickly pushed through legislation in the summer of 2021. In the House, the measure passed by a vote of 415 to 14, with all of the opposition coming from Republicans. On June 17, 2021, President Biden signed the bill into law, making Juneteenth the 11th holiday recognized by the federal government. At a White House ceremony, Mr. Biden singled out Opal Lee, an activist who at the age of 89 walked from her home in Fort Worth to Washington, D.C., and called her “a grandmother of the movement to make Juneteenth a federal holiday.” The law went into effect immediately, and the first federal Juneteenth holiday was celebrated the next day. (The holiday was observed on June 18, as June 19 fell on a Saturday.)
( Reference:- https://www.nytimes.com/article/juneteenth-day-celebration.html)

Juneteenth – FAQs?

  1. Is Juneteenth a US national holiday? – President Joe Biden signed the legislation that made Juneteenth a federal holiday in June 2021.
  2. What is Juneteenth National day? – Each year Juneteenth (June 19th) commemorates the end of slavery in the United States
  3. Why is it called Juneteenth? – The name “Juneteenth” references the date of the holiday, combining the words “June” and “nineteenth.”
  4. Why is Juneteenth important? – Juneteenth is an important milestone in American culture as it cleared the “chain” culture to free life.
  5. What are Juneteenth colors? – The design of the Juneteenth flag depicts a bursting new star on the horizon. The star represents a new freedom, a new people, a new star. The red, white and blue colors communicate that the American Slaves, and their descendants were all Americans.
  6. Can you say happy Juneteenth? – “Happy Juneteenth Day” is considered an appropriate greeting to mark the occasion, according to the website.
  7. What are other names for Juneteenth? – Juneteenth, sometimes called Black Independence Day or Freedom Day, honors this actual ending of slavery.
  8. What are other names of Juneteenth Holiday? – The holiday is also called “Juneteenth Independence Day,” “Freedom Day” or “Emancipation Day.”
  9. When is Juneteenth? – Juneteenth is celebrated annually on June 19.
  10. What is Juneteenth? – Juneteenth is a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. It is also called Emancipation Day or Juneteenth Independence Day. The name “Juneteenth” references the date of the holiday, combining the words “June” and “nineteenth.”
  11. What is the origin of Juneteenth? – Juneteenth was originally celebrated in Texas, on June 19, 1866. It marked the first anniversary of the day that African Americans there first learned of the Emancipation Proclamation, more than two years after it was initially issued. The holiday was originally celebrated with prayer meetings and by singing spirituals and wearing new clothes to represent newfound freedom. Within a few years, African Americans were celebrating Juneteenth in other states, making it an annual tradition.
    Read more – https://www.britannica.com/topic/Day-of-the-Dead
  12. When did slavery end in USA? – December 6, 1865. Passed by Congress on January 31, 1865, and ratified on December 6, 1865, the 13th Amendment abolished slavery in the United States.
  13. What is the origin of Juneteenth? – On 19 June 1865 – months after the northern US states defeated the slave-owning South in the US Civil War – enslaved African-Americans in Galveston, Texas, were told they were free. The day became known as Juneteenth, a word created by joining the words “June” and “nineteenth” together.
  14. Why does Juneteenth matter? – The ending of slavery did not do away with racism, and in the years after emancipation, so-called Jim Crow laws were created to separate black people from white society and limit their civil rights. The legacy of those laws is still being dismantled. The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other African Americans at the hands of police have spurred anti-racism protests. It also comes as a cultural debate rages over the history of slavery and how it should be taught in American schools.
    Read more / reference – https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-57515192
  15. What country is Juneteenth from? – Juneteenth was originally celebrated in Texas, on June 19, 1866.
  16. Is Juneteenth only a US holiday? – Juneteenth became a federal holiday on June 17, 2021. All 50 states and the District of Columbia recognize Juneteenth as a holiday or observance, and at least 22 states and the District of Columbia have designated Juneteenth as a permanent paid and/or legal holiday through legislation or executive action.
  17. What is the difference between Juneteenth and Independence Day? – During the Civil War, the Confederates honored July 4 as fervently as the Union and proclaimed themselves “the loyal inheritors” of the principles of Independence Day. Juneteenth, by contrast, celebrates the conquest and destruction of those enslaver governments, in the name of universal individual freedom.
  18. Who created the Juneteenth flag? – The flag is the brainchild of activist Ben Haith, founder of the National Juneteenth Celebration Foundation (NJCF). Haith created the flag in 1997 with the help of collaborators, and Boston-based illustrator Lisa Jeanne Graf brought their vision to life. Juneteenth flag

Juneteenth – CONCLUSION ..

This has been the most crisp as well as trustworthy information available with regards to Juneteenth. With current scenes about racism, it becomes absolutely important & meaningful, that our kids must understand the importance of freedom & also why they should not overcome the freedom of any life, at any point of time. Time & again, it has been established that Humanity is the only sentiment that can make this Cosmos a happy place to leave for all of us. We are not here to control the life of others but to grow together.
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By jabulani.jabulanee@gmail.com

I am an amateur cyclists having done many successful cycling expeditions as Solo / with Spouse / With Kids / With family & with friends. I am a post graduate in commerce, with distinction, from University of Pune. I have a professional experience of more than 17 years. I have worked with multi national companies like IBM & Kyndryl. I have experience with regards to client relationship, contract management, audits & testing, national - international transitions, process framing, tools deployment as well as financial management. I belong to joint family & staying along with my parents, spouse & 2 kids. Travelling, Health, technology, Finance, Parenting, reading & writing, Sports, Meditation, Cultural adherence etc are my other hobbies. I strongly believe in Powers of Universe & Power of Gratitude.

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